Student mural sends message about neighborhood violence

In the Central area of Seattle, an effort to leave a different kind of mark on the neighborhood has sprouted from the work of students.

SEATTLE - Police have made plenty of visits to Powell Barnett Park and the neighborhood that surrounds it over the years. But Monday was different. Officers, volunteers, and Middle College High School students worked together to mount a mural.

The artwork was a month long project, completed by students who also came up with the design.

Lina Cholewinski with Urban Artworks helped the students. She says they wanted the mural to address the gun violence and drugs that have been a strain on the neighborhood.

“One of the ones that really got me was ‘Hands not Guns.’ So there is different ways of expressing yourself, like in a boxing ring,” said Cholewinski referring to one panel with boxing gloves painted on it.

The other panels are called, ‘Nature over Narcotics’ and “Sound of Music over the Sound of Bullets.’

A homeowner allowed the students to put the mural on her fence which is across the street from the park.

Stephanie Tschida with Healthy Youth Central Area Network, helped organize the mural project.

“I love it. I think it is great,” said Tschida. “We are trying to rebuild the community. We are trying to reconnect the community.”

Nicole Bianchi lives in the neighborhood, and she says she’s witnessed the problem.

“This park is kind of infested with a lot of gang activity, especially during the Summer months. There’s a lot of domestic violence, a lot of gun violence, and a lot of drug dealing. So this is a very nice, welcome contribution to the community,” said Bianchi about the new mural.

In a place where violence has torn families apart, some see a painting with the potential to bring people together.

Copyright 2016 KING


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